This past month I participated in the annual Inktober challenge, coming up with a new pen and ink drawing every day based on a daily prompt list. Some artists choose different lists or no list at all to follow. I find that I enjoy following the official list because I have to think of things I wouldn't normally think to draw, and execute fairly quickly. Some days ideas and inspiration come more easily than others, and as an illustrator working on other people's ideas, this is a good skill to work on.
Inktober is enjoyable also because I use it to explore different ideas and different ways of working and randomize what I'm going to do. Should I go all out with a pointillist extravaganza, or keep it simple with a line drawing with limited detail? Maybe an ink wash would convey my idea more effectively? Admittedly, some projects that were more of a priority knocked me off the Inktober schedule. There were times when I thought I would just let it all go and not worry, but my Type-A personality wouldn't allow me to drop it and one weekend I knocked out 6 drawings to catch up. I may have had to keep it simple when my leaning is to make a drawing complex, but getting it done was the priority.
Giving some thought also to how the daily black and white ink drawings would present on my Instagram feed was a challenge in itself. At first, I didn't really care about it, but the deeper into the month we got, the more thought I gave to a pattern of placing predominantly white or light images next to predominantly black or dark images, to make a nice checkerboard on the feed.
The choice process for what I would draw for each prompt was sometimes revealing in terms of what direction my mind can go as well. For instance, the prompt word "breakable" initially brought up negative connotations for me. But some things being breakable could be positive - an egg's shell being breakable allows a fluffy chick to emerge. A glass ceiling holding women back can be broken.
Inktober was fun, exhausting, challenging, and offered a lot of opportunities to check out other people's work and get to know them and their process better. If you participated in Inktober, drop me a line! I'd love to trade notes on how you approached the challenge and what you loved and/or hated about it!
If you haven't heard of the challenge until now, check it out on Social Media using the prompt list and hashtags like #Inktober2018
See you next month!
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Have a great day!